Which mirrorless as a companion for my 5D3?

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by switters, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. switters

    switters Rookie

    Dec 28, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I'm in the market for a compact camera to go along with my 5D3. I am not looking for a DSLR replacement. I'm looking for a DSLR companion.

    I mostly take pictures of my one-year old daughter these days, but also enjoy street, fine art and travel photography.

    For portraits, the 5D3 + 85/1.2 combo is tough to beat. I also have a 35/1.4, and when my daughter gets a little older I'm sure I'll complete the trinity and pick up a 135/2.

    However, that combo (5D3 + 35/85/135) is a terrible rig to take on the street and to travel with. This is why I'm looking for a compact.

    I'm considering the following:
    – Fuji X100
    – Fuji X-E1
    – Fuji X-Pro!
    – Olympus OM-D E-M5

    The RX1 is enticing, and I can't rule it out, but I don't think I want to spend that much and I much prefer an integrated viewfinder.

    I'm having trouble deciding. I don't need this camera to do it all; it's serving a specific purpose, which is to complement my 5D3 and be a carry around camera for street and travel.

    All 4 of the cameras above seem very good. One has a fixed lens, of course. I appreciate the creative freedom that comes with fewer choices, so this appeals on the one hand. On the other, since one of the main purposes of this camera is for travel, I'm not sure I'd be happy with a single FOV on a trip. I'd be more likely to want 2-3 primes, say a 21, 35 & 85.

    I'm quite partial to OVFs, though, which pushes me toward the X100 if I can live with a fixed lens, or the X-Pro1, if I want interchangeable lenses. But will I be able to live with the sub-par AF speed of the X-Pro1? I don't know, since my daughter moves fast!

    Then I think, well, the OM-D may be the best compromise. It does everything well, has super fast AF, great lens selection, and a built-in viewfinder (albeit EVF). But I sacrifice a couple of stops of DOF compared to the 5D, and one stop compared to the Fuji's.

    I'm stumped! What do you think?
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    To each his own, but if it were me and I truly wanted to complement instead of replace a DSLR, I would rule out ALL interchangeable lens cameras and just get the X100. If you like swapping lenses I'd get the X-Pro1 or X-E1 and toss the Canon, but I just don't see enough of a benefit to having the big gun.

    Trying to extricate my own personal preferences, it sounds like speed REALLY matters to you. I think the OMD might be best for you.
  3. switters

    switters Rookie

    Dec 28, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    You're right that the X100 or RX1 would truly be more of a DSLR complement, whereas the X-Pro1, X-E1 and OMD are more DSLR replacements (potentially, at least).

    The one problem is travel. The X100 makes an awesome companion to my 5D3 when I'm at home, because I can simply choose which tool I need based on the circumstances. If I know I'm going out and about and don't want to lug the 5D3, I take the X100. If I know I'm going to be photographing my daughter, I'd grab the 5D3.

    But if I'm going on an extended trip, I wouldn't want to take the 5D3 + lenses, and I'm not sure I'd be happy with the limitations of the X100. This is where the OMD would be a better option for me.

    Tough decision!
  4. Julien

    Julien Top Veteran

    Jan 6, 2012
    Paris, France
    Have you considered the EOS-M? You could use your canon lenses on it with the adapter.
  5. switters

    switters Rookie

    Dec 28, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I have, but it lacks a built-in OVF/EVF which is a dealbreaker for me.
  6. NathanJ

    NathanJ Regular

    Sep 18, 2012
    sounds like the OMD (speed) to me, or the X-E1 (quality) if you REALLY can't reconcile yourself to a fixed lens. If you can, then X100. I took a trip to Venice in April, made a conscious decision to only take the X100, and never really missed not having a different focal length.

    In case it helps with the thought process, here are a few pics I took on that trip postcardsfrom1971: Venice with the X100
  7. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    In terms of choice of control interfaces, the E-M5 sits right at the top of your list, but the Fujis do appeal in a more traditional way.
  8. krugorg

    krugorg All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    It seems like, based on your preferences, that the OM-D would be a good fit. One thing I like about the Olympus for travel is that I can switch the mode to Auto when handing over to a friend or my wife (non-photographer). Also, I use face detection quite a bit with kids.

    Can you get a test run on all of these at a camera shop before buying? Maybe the Fuji X-Pro1 focusing will be better than you thought, or the OM-D will be too small for you, etc.

    Did you also check out the announced Sony NEX-6? Built-in viewfinder and phase-detection pixels on the sensor, for better focus tracking (no reports on how well it works yet). They are also starting to, finally, come around on lenses for the E-mount. The Sigma 28mm equiv. is pretty good and they just announced a 35mm/f1.8 that should be good, based on how it works on their A mount).
  9. Naveed Akhtar

    Naveed Akhtar Regular

    Dec 8, 2011
    London, UK

    if fixed 35mm is acceptable then X100 otherwise .............. OM-D
  10. switters

    switters Rookie

    Dec 28, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Just received the X100 from Lensrentals.com. Haven't taken any shots yet, but love the look and feel of it. I'll probably end up renting all of them; I think that's the only way I'll be able to decide.
  11. bartjeej

    bartjeej Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Sounds like a good approach. Have fun! :smile:
  12. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    I think renting is a good idea. I loved the GRD IV but needed to have something more adaptable for vacation to compliment my Canon, so ended up with the G12. It at least can zoom. I think you will really want that ability, like you said being home you can decide which tool but being away from home you will miss a shot if you need to zoom in. Legs work great until there is a wall or an ocean etc..

    Have fun camera testing. You'll know which one when you don't want to give it back hehe
  13. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    Fixed lens cameras are great if you like the focal length they come with. The advantage of a compact system camera is that you can choose what single FL you might like. Seriously, who is going to make the fixed lens equivalent of a E-PM1 with a 45?
  14. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    Lensrentals.com is a nifty option. In the days of online buying of $500+ cameras, this could solve many problems.